/ek"steuh see/, n., pl. ecstasies.1. rapturous delight.2. an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling.3. the frenzy of poetic inspiration.4. mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.[1350-1400; ME extasie < MF < ML extasis < Gk ékstasis displacement, trance, equiv. to ek- EC- + stásis STASIS]Syn. 2. delight, bliss, elation. ECSTASY, RAPTURE, TRANSPORT, EXALTATION share a sense of being taken or moved out of one's self or one's normal state, and entering a state of intensified or heightened feeling. ECSTASY suggests an intensification of emotion so powerful as to produce a trancelike dissociation from all but the single overpowering feeling: an ecstasy of rage, grief, love. RAPTURE shares the power of ecstasy but most often refers to an elevated sensation of bliss or delight, either carnal or spiritual: the rapture of first love.TRANSPORT, somewhat less extreme than either ECSTASY or RAPTURE, implies a strength of feeling that results in expression of some kind: They jumped up and down in a transport of delight. EXALTATION refers to a heady sense of personal well-being so powerful that one is lifted above normal emotional levels and above normal people: wild exaltation at having finally broken the record.
* * *Euphoria-inducing stimulant and hallucinogen.It is a derivative of the amphetamine family and a relative of the stimulant methamphetamine. Taken in pill form, it has a chemical relationship to the psychedelic drug mescaline. Developed in 1913 as an appetite suppressant, the drug was not originally approved for release. In the 1950s and '60s, it began to be used in psychotherapy. The drug increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and blocks its reabsorption in the brain; it also increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Stimulation of the central nervous system gives users feelings of increased energy and lowers social inhibitions. By the 1980s, parties and dances that featured Ecstasy use (known as "raves") became popular. Despite its ban in the U.S. and the rest of the world, the drug retained a huge following, and it played an important role in the youth subculture, similar to that of LSD during the 1960s.
* * *▪ drugMDMA (3,4, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), euphoria-inducing stimulant and hallucinogen. The use of Ecstasy, commonly known as “E,” has been widespread despite the drug's having been banned worldwide in 1985 by its addition to the international Convention on Psychotropic Substances. It is a derivative of the amphetamine family and a relative of the stimulant methamphetamine. Ecstasy, which is taken in pill form, also has a chemical relationship to the psychedelic drug mescaline.Developed in 1913 as an appetite suppressant and patented by Merck & Co. the following year, the drug was not originally approved for release. In the 1950s and '60s, advocates of the drug, including the author and chemist Alexander T. Shulgin, claimed that it could benefit people in psychotherapy by helping to engender trust between therapist and patient, and by the late 1970s Ecstasy was being widely administered for this purpose. It was adopted enthusiastically in the 1970s and '80s by adherents of the New Age movement, who explored the similarities between the mental and emotional states induced by Ecstasy and the mystical states of awareness described by some traditional religions. Members of this group expected MDMA to be the basis of a sweeping “neuroconsciousness revolution.”Ecstasy increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and blocks its reabsorption in the brain; it also increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Stimulation of the central nervous system gives users feelings of increased energy. Other effects include heightened self-awareness, reduced social inhibitions, and feelings of happiness and well-being. Ecstasy generally does not produce severe sensory distortions such as those associated with LSD and other hallucinogens. Harmful effects can include increased blood pressure, dehydration, severe muscle tension, confusion, depression, and paranoia.By the 1980s, parties and dances that featured Ecstasy use (known as “raves”) had become popular among young people. Despite its ban in the United States and the rest of the world, the drug retained a huge following, and it came to play an important role in youth subcultures, similar to that of LSD during the 1960s. By the end of the 20th century, Ecstasy was reportedly used regularly by 500,000 people in Great Britain, and a 1998 study found that 3,400,000 Americans had tried the drug.John Philip Jenkins
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